Like most people, I would imagine, my first thoughts upon learning that the Memorial Day weekend here in America would coincide with the festival of Shavuot this year were not happy ones. Three-day weekends are a precious commodity, even for rabbis. Giving one up for three days of Shabbat and Yom Tov was simply not a fair exchange. I’m sure that I like being in synagogue a little more than the average bear, but really… on Memorial Day weekend?
It’s probably impossible to count the number of film reviews that attack kitschy takes on the Holocaust like this: “an impossible movie that has no reason for being other than as another pop-culture palliative for a trauma it can’t bear to face.”
Or like this: “This is how kitsch works. It exploits familiar images, be they puppies or babies …and tries to make us feel good, even virtuous, simply about feeling.”
There's been a glut of 9/11 books published on the eve of this year's 10th anniversary. But all the new-ness overshadows the rich bevy of writing that's been published over the past decade since the attacks. Literary critics have been debating what effect, if any, Sept. 11 has had on fiction in particular in recent days, but one of the best essays I've read is this one by Adam Kirsch.
(JTA) -- The United States arranged the 9/11 attacks "to save the Zionist regime," Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told the U.N. General Assembly.
After suggesting that U.S. officials at the highest levels were complicit in the 9/11 attacks, he called on the United Nations to establish "an independent fact-finding group" to investigate the attacks. The U.S. delegation walked out of Ahmadinejad's speech Thursday at the United Nations, as did all 27 European Union delegations, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and Costa Rica, according to reports.
This sermon was delivered in my synagogue in Forest Hills on Shabbat Shuvah, September 11, just last week. It was the first time I addressed the proposed construction of the mosque/community center near Ground Zero from the pulpit, and obviously, because it was September 11 and the day after Rosh Hashanah, it carried great emotional weight. I wanted to share it with all of you…